Title: The Beginning of Everything
Author: Robyn Schneider
Published: August 27th 2013 by Katherine Tegen
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review
"Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.
No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.
But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?
Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings"
First line: "Sometimes I think that everyone has a tragedy waiting for them, that the people buying milk in their pajamas or picking their noses at stoplights could be only moments away from disaster."
Thoughts: This book...there are no words to describe the epic adventure this novel will take you on. While I knew THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING was going to be amazing, I didn't expect it to somewhat change the way I view the world. Needless to say, I will never be the same again.
The beginning of this novel starts off with a bang. It's a recapping of an old yet disturbing memory following an event that altered Ezra and his best friend Toby's lives. I can't exactly say what happens without ruining the shock factor, but I clearly wasn't expecting this. At any rate, Ezra begins to believe everyone in their lives will have a tragic changing point. You won't know when it'll happen but once it does, life will change drastically.
One of the things I completely adored about this novel was the main character himself. It's incredible how the author created a character so rich and unbelievable, you can't help but wish he were real. Of all his wonderful and sometimes not so fabulous traits, I loved his clever and witty personality the most. Just the dialog and banter alone kept me craving for more. Ezra Faulkner is every reason why I can easily swoon over the perfect male protagonist. I truly believe the author found her voice in Ezra. Please, please write more male voices. PLEASE!
Now, let's talk about the romance a bit. Enter Cassidy. Like many first loves, Cassidy offers Ezra things he hasn't experienced before. Both Cassidy and Ezra are broken yet somehow fix one another just by being together. I adored watching them grow together and helping each other find who they're meant to be. Alas, to quote Robert Frost, "Nothing gold can stay forever". Things begin, things end, and in some cases, begin again. What will be the case for these two? Read it and see.
THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING is a realistic coming of age novel I highly recommend to all fans of THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. This book is filled with love, wisdom, wit, and enough heartache to make your head spin. It's one of those books that will keep you thinking about it weeks after you've already finished. Heck, I don't even know if I ever truly recovered from this emotional roller-coaster! The only thing I know for sure is I plan on keeping this novel on my bookshelf for a long, long time.
“Oscar Wilde once said that to live is the rarest thing in the world, because most people just exist, and that’s all. I don’t know if he’s right, but I do know that I spend a long time existing, and now, I intend to live.”
“I wondered what things what things became when you no longer needed them, and I wondered what the future would hold once we'd gotten past our personal tragedies and proven them ultimately survivable.”
“You see? You're just figuring it out now, but I discovered a long time ago that the smarter you are, the more tempting it is to just let people imagine you. We move through each other's lives like ghosts, leaving behind haunting memories of people who never existed.”
“'There's a word for it,' she told me, 'In French, for when you have a lingering impression of something having passed by. Sillage. I always think of it when a firework explodes and lights up the smoke from the ones before it.'
'That's a terrible word,' I teased. 'It's like an excuse for holding onto the past.'
'Well, I think it's beautiful. A word for remembering small moments destined to be lost.'”